On the day Brexit beleaguered Britain gets a new passport there will be the inevitable street parties by flag-waving, jingoistic and nationalistic loons. And accompanying those sickening celebrations there is likely to be a surge in hate crimes against anyone looking ‘foreign’, including tourists.
Assuming the UK does not pull back from Brexit, a non-EU passport will be required. A mock-up of this, in what can only be described as ‘Tory Blue’, was published by the Home Office just before Christmas, when most people were half sozzled.
This was accompanied by a nauseating tweet by British prime minister Theresa May:
Meanwhile the right-wing media was predictably fawning.
But this new UK passport will soon become a symbol of the many restrictions on our liberties that the Tories could impose upon the British population. Such as scrapping the Working Time Directive, which provides workers with rights to restricted hours of work, regular rest breaks, holiday and health and safety protection. This is on top of the zero hours contracts and low pay that is now the norm.
Not forgetting the end of our freedom to work and live in neighbouring countries:
Hints at the right-wing agenda, to accompany the new passports, are already being voiced:
But we were well warned:
The damage is already widespread
Indeed, over the last 18 months we have witnessed the damage inflicted by the Tory government on the people of Britain. It is extensive and deep. Here are just a few examples:
- An increase in poverty levels have seen a surge in malnutrition, rickets and scurvy cases.
- Between 1 July and 30 September 2017 for England and Wales there were 15,290 statutorily homeless households.
- Official figures show that life expectancy is now on the decline.
- In England alone between quarter two of 2010/11 and quarter two 2016/17, the number of overnight beds in NHS hospitals fell by 14,000. Over the same period, the number of mental health beds fell by a fifth.
- In September 2016 the NHS published statistics on the mental health of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants. Nearly half (43.2%) of claimants had attempted suicide at some point in their life.
- Over 4 million children now live in poverty.
- Since 2015, school budgets have lost £2.8bn. On average this means a loss of £54,000 for each primary school and £205,600 in each secondary school.
- The number of three-day food packages sent out by the Trussell Trust, which organises food banks, rose from 40,898 to 1,182,954 by 2016-17.
- An estimated 34,300 more people died in the winter of 2016/17 than in other months; a 39.5% increase on 2015/16 figures.
None of this happens by accident. It is class warfare, with Brexit used as an excuse to further it.
‘People power’ or the ‘mob rule’?
The phrase “the will of the people” is often quoted as the core of our democracy. But the peoples’ will is subject to manipulation by politicians and special interest groups, including big business. Which is why referendums – particularly those based on the ‘first past the post’ principle – can be so dangerous.
Now a new poll reveals that
And there are calls for a second referendum on EU membership. That could see a Brexit deal approved, or rejected, or a demand that the UK stays in the EU.
But politicians are not agile enough to keep pace with the changing moods of the populace.
In any case, politicians have their own agenda and they adopt populist rhetoric only when it suits them
In the meantime we have to wake up to the reality that the far-right has set – and is continuing to set – the political agenda.
But condemnation is not good enough. Nor merely waiting for the next general election to come along, when much of the damage will have already been inflicted.
Instead, we need a rebel alliance, to fight back at every opportunity. In every city, town and village, throughout the land and in every industry and community.
In short, we need a revolution, to overturn these reactionary forces. And we need a form of genuine democracy that is yet to be imagined